The goal of this two-part argument rhetoric/reader is to equip students with a complete set of skills (writing, arguing, reasoning, critical reading and thinking, researching) necessary for writing argumentative essays in a wide variety of contexts and disciplines. The Well-Crafted Argument uses a practical, accessible, skills-based approach to teaching argument while encouraging students to develop their individual voices and visions. Part One, "The Rhetoric of Argument," covers using the writing process when writing arguments, framing arguments using three main models (Classic, Toulmin, and Rogerian), reasoning and avoiding fallacies, critical reading and thinking, research, and documentation of sources. Integrated throughout this part are 16 sample arguments, including Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail. "Part Two, "Reading Clusters," is an anthology of 95 readings grouped into nine clusters. The first eight clusters cover controversial topics of current interest, such as downloading music files, national security, standardized testing, censorship, and media violence. Each cluster includes a wide range of contrasting (not just opposing) views. The last cluster features famous arguments, including Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," Frederick Douglass's "I Hear the Mournful Wail of Millions," and Roe v. Wade. At least one student essay is included within each of the nine reading clusters.
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Fred D. White received his Ph.D. in English (with a concentration in Rhetorical Theory and Composition Studies) in 1980 from The University of Iowa and began teaching at Santa Clara University that same year. He has taught expository writing and literature courses at both the community college and university level. A professor of English at Santa Clara University, White offers courses in first-year composition, argumentation, nature writing, and an introduction to poetry. In 1997 he received the Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence. He is the author, most recently, of The Daily Reader: 366 Selections from Great Prose and Poetry to Stimulate Great Writing (Writer's Digest Books, fall 2009), Approaching Emily Dickinson: Critical Currents and Crosscurrents since 1960 (Camden House, 2008), and also of The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life (Writer's Digest Books, 2008; A Quality Paperback Book Club Featured Selection). Others of his titles include Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir's Best Writings (Heyday Books, 2006) and Lifewriting (Quill Driver Books, 2004). His articles have been published in such journals as Arizona Quarterly, College Literature, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson, North Dakota Quarterly, Pleiades, San Jose Studies, South Dakota Review, Walt Whitman Review, and The Writing Instructor.
Simone J. Billings received her Ph.D. in the Division of Language, Literacy, and Culture from Stanford University in 1994. Presently a senior lecturer at Santa Clara University, where she has worked full-time since 1980, she generally teaches non-fiction writing courses: freshman composition, freshman composition for honors students, argumentation, and creative non-fiction (e.g., profiles, satires, interviews, reviews, travel writing). In Fall 2009, Billings received a grant as a Fulbright Scholar to work with the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies on developing curriculum for on-line and blended (both on-line and face-to-face) delivery of writing classes. As a Fulbright Scholar, she also ran workshops on design of writing classes, written response to student papers, and writing program design for writing instructors of the Open Campus. In Fall 2007, Billings received the Dr. David E. Logothetti Teaching Award. Billings has presented numerous papers at the annual conventions of College Composition and Communication. She has also served as a consultant to the writing program at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, on Barbados. Her research interests include (1) instructor commentary on and assessment of student writing and (2) various sites and manifestations of literacy.
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